Aurora, Colorado’s Brendan Schaub did not have an easy road into the UFC. The Trevor Wittman-trained heavyweight fought his way into the finals of The Ultimate Fighter season 10 with big wins over Demico Rogers, Jon Madsen and Marcus Jones. However his undefeated record came to an abrupt end at the Ultimate Fighter Finale in December courtesy of Roy Nelson’s thunderous overhand right.
“I was giving Roy all he could handle in the first round and I just got caught right behind the ear,” Schaub told Heavy.com. “It’s not really a chin issue or anything like that. It had nothing to do with his experience being too much for me because I feel like I can compete with anyone in the world.”
The loss was difficult for Schaub to take in, but he’s not losing much sleep over it. In fact, the heavy-handed striker is confident that should he meet Nelson again the result will go in his favor.
“I think if Roy and I fight again, nine times out of ten I win that fight,” Schaub said. “It was a tough one to get over, but at the end of the day I didn’t go into the UFC to become The Ultimate Fighter. There are a lot of fighters who have won the show and they don’t do crap when they get into the UFC, so for me, my career is just getting started. My goal is to be a world champion and that goal is still in reach. That’s the plan.”
Eager to get back on the winning track and work towards that goal, Schaub will meet Chase Gormley at UFC on Versus 1 in his home state of Colorado. Gormley is coming off of a loss to Stefan Struve at UFC 104, but prior to that bout he was on a six fight winning streak with an unblemished professional record.
“It’s the UFC, so obviously he’s going to be a tough opponent. Chase is a tough guy, he has a good record and he’s fought some dangerous guys” Schaub said. “He brings a pretty solid wrestling resume with him into the Octagon and trains at a good camp, so I expect nothing less than a tough fight since we’re fighting in the UFC.”
In preparation for his bout against Gormley, Schaub has been training alongside heavyweight title contender Shane Carwin. Carwin will take on former heavyweight champion Frank Mir for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 111, just one week following Schaub’s fight at UFC on Versus.
“You could not ask for a better training camp or a better training partner in Shane. Shane and I came up together and it’s cool that we are both fighting in the UFC now. He’ll be at my fight and I’ll be at his fight and since they are only a week apart the sparring between us has been really intense.”
The massive Carwin has been a huge influence on Schaub’s career. Although he may be slightly biased, Schaub is not shy to voice his prediction on his friend’s upcoming title bout.
“If they thought what Brock Lesnar did to Frank Mir was impressive they haven’t seen [expletive]” Schaub said. “Shane is a different animal and if that guy gets on top of you or connects with a big shot, it’s over. I’m telling you, those Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir nut-huggers are in for a rude awakening.”
Unlike his main event fight with Nelson on Spike TV, Schaub’s bout against Gormley is not scheduled to air on the Versus broadcast. Nevertheless, a stunning knockout or submission victory could all but guarantee Schaub’s presence on the main card – especially considering the knockout artists lined up for the televised portion of the event. “I expect my fight to be aired, you take a look at the card and it’s going to be a quick night of fights and I think some people are going to complain that the night is going to go so fast. I definitely expect my fight to show up on the Versus broadcast and I think all of my fans are as well.”
Putting the Nelson fight behind him, Schaub is ready to make his mark in the UFC’s heavyweight division. His post-TUF career begins on March 21 and a big win will set him off in the right path towards his goal of one day capturing UFC gold.
“I’m starting my UFC career off in Colorado. This is just the beginning for me and I think I’ve got a lot I need to work on, but I can make waves in the heavyweight division in the UFC and it starts March 21 against Chase Gormley.”